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Microeconomic consequences and macroeconomic causes of foreign direct investment in southern African economies

Author

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  • Lederman, Daniel
  • Mengistae, Taye
  • Xu, Lixin Colin

Abstract

The causes and consequences of foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries remains a subject of debate among researchers and policymakers alike. The authors use international data and a new micro-data set of firms in thirteen Southern African Developing Countries (SADCs) to investigate the benefits and determinants of FDI in this region. FDI appears to have facilitated local development in the SADC region. Foreign firms tend to perform better than domestic firms, tend to be larger, are located in richer and better-governed countries and in countries with more competitive financial intermediaries, and they are more likely to export than domestic firms. They also exhibit positive spillover effects to domestic firms. Relying on a standard model to predict the country-level FDI inflows per capita, the authors find that SADC is attracting their expected level of FDI inflows, at least relative to its income level, human capital, demographic structure, institutions, and economic track record. There are some differences between SADC and the rest of the world in FDI behavior: in SADC, the income level is less important and openness more so. The authors use two comparison groups to compare with SADC to shed light on why other regions have attracted more FDI per capita than SADC. The factors that explain SADC’s low FDI inflows are economic fundamentals (e.g., previous growth rates, average income, phone density, and the adult share of population).

Suggested Citation

  • Lederman, Daniel & Mengistae, Taye & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2010. "Microeconomic consequences and macroeconomic causes of foreign direct investment in southern African economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5416, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Toure Mamoudou & Cédric Achille Mbeng Mezui, 2017. "Working Paper 271 - Facteurs déterminants des IDE en Afrique," Working Paper Series 2388, African Development Bank.
    2. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    3. John Anyanwu, 2011. "Working Paper 136 - Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to Africa, 1980-2007," Working Paper Series 327, African Development Bank.
    4. Morrissey, Oliver & Udomkerdmongkol, Manop, 2012. "Governance, Private Investment and Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 437-445.
    5. Lin, Yue, 2015. "Firm heterogeneity and location choice of Chinese firms in Latin America and the Caribbean: Corporate ownership, strategic motives and host country institutions," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 274-292.
    6. Mebratu Seyoum & Renshui Wu & Jihong Lin, 2014. "Foreign Direct Investment and Trade Openness in Sub-Saharan Economies: A Panel Data Granger Causality Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 82(3), pages 402-421, September.
    7. repec:pje:journl:article27winv is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John C. Anyanwu, 2012. "Why Does Foreign Direct Investment Go Where It Goes?: New Evidence From African Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 13(2), pages 425-462, November.
    9. Wenjie Chen & David Dollar & Heiwai Tang, 2016. "Why is China Investing in Africa? Evidence from the Firm Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 5940, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Jonathan Munemo, 2014. "Business start-up regulations and the complementarity between foreign and domestic investment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(4), pages 745-761, November.

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    Keywords

    Emerging Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Investment and Investment Climate; Foreign Direct Investment; Debt Markets;

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